NCAA imposes postseason bans for Texas Southern

Associated Press Modified: October 9, 2012 at 5:19 pm •  Published: October 9, 2012
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Sankey said the cooperation from McClelland and school President John Rudley helped persuade the committee not to consider the death penalty in this case.

"That was a factor in the committee's evaluation in the application of these penalties," Sankey said.

The school said in its statement that it has hired seven "professionals committed to compliance and academics." The statement also said the school has addressed and improved its academics among student-athletes.

The school said that since the 2008-09 academic year, scores have gradually improved for all 16 sponsored sports. Overall the program has a combined score of 958 which is over a 120-point increase from the departments' score of 834 in 2008-09, the statement said.

"If you take a look at where we are now, it's a new era in TSU athletics," McClelland said. "I can assure that these concerns have been addressed and corrected."

The most prominent violations involved former football coach Johnnie Cole and former basketball coach Tony Harvey. Cole was fired in April 2011, and Harvey resigned after the 2011-12 season. The committee noted "particularly serious violations" occurred when Cole "knowingly allowed a booster to recruit for the football program" and Harvey "provided false or misleading information during the investigation."

Specifically, the report said that Cole and former assistants "were all aware that a booster was contacting potential transfers and their parents." The booster also bought an airline ticket for a recruit's girlfriend. The committee said Cole and his staff encouraged the booster's efforts and failed to contact the NCAA about possible rules violations related to the booster's activities.

The men's basketball team, meanwhile, offered two scholarships that were unavailable after the program was penalized for poor academic performance. During the 2009-10 season, the team also did not adhere to restrictions on practice time, which were imposed after the team fell short on its academic progress report.

The committee also found that the university exceeded financial aid limits between 2008-11.

"Compounding the problems with oversight was that no squad lists were produced by the compliance office during the years the violations occurred," the report said.

The committee concluded that Texas Southern "lacked institutional control" due to its failure to design safeguards to prevent violations, monitor academic standards and keep track of scholarships. The school "insufficiently investigated academic issues that involved 24 student-athletes and allowed 12 of the 24 student-athletes to receive unearned academic credit."

Sankey praised Rudley and McClelland for their efforts to fix the athletic department.

"There has been a different level of attention and activity among the university's current leadership," he said.